What healthcare executives should know about mHealth

June 2, 2015

Mobile health (mhealth) has many benefits for patient care, but lack of oversight and regulatory concerns could raise problems.

MartinMobile health (mHealth) has many “constituents,” and therefore, there are many applications and meanings. The sophisticated tools-wireless networks and mobile devices-are familiar and available to most all of us, thus creating the "buzz," but the applications and information streams they support span out into many different direction and serve many different purposes.

“Our ability to selectively collect the abundance of health-related data through our mobile devices and transform it into meaningful, actionable information is the key to promoting and sustaining the health and wellness of ourselves and our patients,” says Don Martin, vice president, Technology Practice Lead, Novia Strategies.

According to Martin, other key points about mHealth include:

• As individuals continue the transition from patient to healthcare consumer, mobile health represents the burgeoning market for applications that spans wellness and fitness (Fitbit, WebMD, etc.) to health provider consumer information (physician and hospital performance rating intelligence) and healthcare delivery.

• mHealth also represents mobile applications that enable and promote accessibility between patient and caregiver and support remote patient monitoring and intervention especially for those that are housebound or living in remote or rural locations.

• Finally, mHealth also represents applications and devices that support caregivers with access to patient clinical data outside the hospital, clinic or office setting and allow them to remain connected and provide care to their patients regardless of proximity.

Mobile Health Concerns

McMillanWhile convenient and relevant in today's connected world, many healthcare providers are wary of mobile apps for patients due to lack of oversight and regulatory concerns,” adds Beth Diamond, global claims team leader, technology, media and business, Beazley.

Mac McMillan, FHIMSS, CISM, chief executive officer at CynergisTek, Inc., agrees. “MHealth is a fascinating new chapter in healthcare and patient centric medicine, but it is exploding at such a rate that privacy and security concerns in most cases have not even been thought of-let alone addressed-and the legal community is just now beginning to debate the liability implications for both organizations and providers,” McMillan says.